WATERVILLE, Maine — Tyler Williams hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer in his first collegiate game to power the Colby College men’s basketball team to a wild 97-96 victory over Pine Manor College on the first day of the Colby Classic on Friday night at Wadsworth Gymnasium.
The Mules (1-0 overall) will play in Saturday’s championship game at 3 p.m. against the Fitchburg State/Regis College winner. Pine Manor will play in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Williams had a spectacular debut with 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting, 3-for-3 from the foul line, six assists, and five rebounds.
Pine Manor (2-1) led 96-94 and had the ball with 11 seconds remaining. The Mules were able to get a trap on the in-bounds play right in front of the Gator bench. Instead of fouling, Colby’s Patrick Stewart swatted the ball away, quickly pushed the ball up the court on the dribble, and found Williams in the left corner for the 3-point shot at the buzzer to set off a wild celebration.
Colby led 94-90 with about three minutes to play, but the Gators battled back. Chauncie Williams scored on a layup with 2:26 remaining to cut the lead to two points. Erick Rosario then scored two straight baskets for Pine Manor with 1:43 and 1:04 left to put his team in front.
The Gators missed a one-and-one with 17 seconds left, but got the rebound and called timeout with 11 seconds to play.
Colby’s first-year players made an immediate impact. Besides Williams, Sean Gilmore added a team-high 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a blocked shot. Alex Dorion nailed four 3-point shots on the way to 13 points, Ronan Schwarz added 10 points, and Sam Jefferson scored seven in their first collegiate games.
The Mules had seven players in double figures, including Stewart with 15 points and eight rebounds. Joe Connelly scored 11 points, had three assists, and two blocked shots. Maximilian Steiner chipped in with 10 points.
The Mules, who led 52-44 at halftime, had a 44-29 advantage in bench scoring. Colby helped its own cause by committing just 11 turnovers in the fast-paced game.
Taverick Roberson led all scorers with 29 points on 11-for-22 shooting, six assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Williams scored 16 for the Gators on 7-for-13 shooting, Rasheed Bell was 7-for-9 from the field for 15 points, and Rosario had 13 points and five assists.